Progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasted the Biden administration’s decision allowing border wall construction to begin in Texas.
“The Biden administration was not required to expand construction of the border wall — and they certainly were not required to waive several environmental laws to expedite the building,” the New York Democrat said in her statement. “The President needs to take responsibility for this decision and reverse course.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s statement comes after the administration waived 26 federal laws, allowing the development of about 20 miles of border wall to move forward.
Biden has claimed his hands are tied because he “can’t stop” that “the money was appropriated for the border wall” before he took office.
“You do not risk your life or your childrens’ lives going through the Darién Gap or traversing hundreds of miles of desert if you have any other options," AOC's statement added. "Walls only serve to push migrants into more remote areas, increasing their changes of death. It is a cruel policy.”
Other progressives, including former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas and Democrat Rep. Maxwell Frost of Florida, also criticized the plan, as did the ACLU.
1. Walls don’t work— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) October 5, 2023
2. President Biden promised he wouldn’t build them
3. Now even harder for voters to distinguish between him & Trump on border/immigration
4. Wasted opportunity to use executive power to actually fix our asylum system instead of impotent political posturing https://t.co/AQkxokNd2a
This move by the Admin is ineffective, harmful, and hurts our environment. There is a crisis at our border, and it requires compassion and humanity, not the continuation of the same tired and cruel tactics of the previous administration. https://t.co/Ar9ym1114Y— Congressman Maxwell Alejandro Frost (@RepMaxwellFrost) October 5, 2023
“The Biden administration’s decision to rush into border wall construction marks a profound failure. On the campaign trail, President Biden put it best when he said that the border wall is not a serious policy solution – and we couldn’t agree more. Instead of upholding this promise, the Biden administration is doubling down on the failed policies of the past that have proven wasteful and ineffective," said Jonathan Blazer, director of border strategies at the American Civil Liberties Union. “This politically motivated action will only harm border communities. It’s time for the Biden administration to choose humanity and real solutions over politics.”
Mexico President Andres Manuel López Obrador, meanwhile, called the plan a “setback because it does not resolve the problem."
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas emphasized on Thursday the Biden administration has "no new ... policy with respect to border walls."
He added: “From day one, this administration has made clear that a border wall is not the answer. That remains our position and our position has never wavered.”